Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre will follow up its current production of A Woman of No Importance with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, running Nov. 3, 1998-Jan. 3, 1999 and directed by Daniel Fish, who piloted last season's The Merry Wives of Windsor.
The comedy -- which recently received a high-profile production at Lincoln Center, starring Helen Hunt and directed by Nicholas Hytner -- will star Tari Signor as Viola, Dallas Roberts as Sebastian, Melissa Bowen as Olivia, Floyd King as Malvolio, Ted van Griethuysen as Sir Toby Belch, Graham Winton as Duke Orsino, Michael Rudko as Feste and Paul Mullins as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Signor is familiar to New York audiences from Mr. Peters' Connections and Death Defying Acts.
Christine Jones will design a set featuring shipwrecked pianos and floorboards which warp into ocean waves. Adam Wernick will compose original music. The rest of the design team is Kaye Voyce (costumes) and Scott Zielinski (lights).
Twelfth Night will officially open Nov. 9.
Meanwhile artistic director Michael Kahn's rendition of Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance plays through Oct. 17. Appearing in the comedy are Signor, van Griethuysen, Emery Battis, David Sabin, Matthew Greer, Jennifer Mendenhall, and Catherine Flye. The rest of the company's 1998-99 season is as follows:
Following Wilde's Twelfth Night is the lesser known King John (Jan. 19-Mar. 6, 1999), staged by artistic director Michael Kahn.
Director JoAnne Akalaitis arrives, Mar. 23-May 8, 1999, to stage Euripides' Trojan Women. It's a look at war's effect on women on the losing side. Surprisingly, this is the first time a Greek play has been staged at the Shakespeare.
Then Hal Holbrook appears as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Artistic director Michael Kahn will stage Shakespeare's controversial comedy (which is generally played as drama because of its arguably anti Semitic content). Holbrook has already played the vengeful Jewish merchant, Shylock, at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. Last on Broadway in An American Daughter, Holbrook is best known for his solo, Mark Twain Tonight!, for which he won a Tony. He's played King Lear at Off Broadway's Roundabout Theatre and on Broadway in The Glass Menagerie, Man of La Mancha and I Never Sang For My Father.
For subscriptions ($125-$280) and other information on the Shakespeare Theatre season call (202) 547-1122. The box office opens Aug. 7.